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Amber Fort, Jaipur
City Palace, Udaipur
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
Patwon ki Haweli, Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
Chittorgarh Fort, Chittor
Umaid Bhawan, Jodhpur
City Palace, Jaipur
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MEHRANGARH FORT AT JODHPUR IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA


Invincible and mighty, inspiring awe, admiration, envy and fear in friend and foe alike, Mehrangarh of Rajasthan is the very spirit of the Rathores. Mehrangarh Fort of Rajasthan has never, not even once, been taken in a siege.  Indeed, no historian, no white-whiskered royal retainer, no chronicle, no ballad, no poem can rival the Citadel of the Sun in bringing alive the story of the Rathores of Jodhpur of Rajasthan. Every mile-stone in their adventure, every triumph, every act of courage is immortalized here in stone and mortar, marble and metal. The palaces of Rajasthan lavished with delicate friezes, record successful campaigns; cart-loads of war booty and caravans laden with imperial favor. The cenotaphs recount stirring tales of valor and sacrifice; cannon-ball marks on the walls speak of repulsed enemies; the hand-prints, tiny and graceful on the portals, weep in remembrance of faithful queens lost to the flames of Sati.

Mehrangarh Fort located in Jodhpur city in Rajasthan state is one of the largest forts and a famous tourist place in India. The fort of Rajasthan is situated on a lofty height, 400 feet above the city, and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its territorial boundaries, there are several palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards.

Mehrangarh (etymology:'Mihir'{Sanskrit)-sun or Sun-deity; 'garh'{Sanskrit}-fort; i.e.'Sun-fort'; according to Rajasthani language pronunciation conventions, 'Mihirgarh' has changed to 'Mehrangarh'; the Sun-deity has been the chief deity of the Rathore dynasty; is one of the largest forts in India. Though the fortress was originally started in 1459 by Rao Jodha, founder of Jodhpur of Rajasthan, most of the fort of Rajasthan which stands today dates from the period of Jaswant Singh (1638–78). This magnificent fort is located at the centre of the city spreading over 5 km atop a 125-metre high hill.

MEHRANGARH FORT AT JODHPUR IN RAJASTHAN

History and Legends of Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India

In 1458, secure in his dominion, Jodha became the fifteenth Rathore ruler. The Raj Tilak or formal anointment of the prince, necessary because it vests in the man divinity, was performed by his elder brother Akhairaj, Ranmal's rightful heir who renounced his claim in favor of his younger brother because the latter had reconquered every inch of Marwar himself.

Within a year of his accession Rao Jodha decided to build a new capital. The fort in Mandore of Rajasthan, already over a thousand years old, was no longer considered strong and safe. In doing so he bequeathed to India one of her greatest forts and most beautiful cities.

The foundation of this fort of Rajasthan was laid on 12th May, 1459 by Jodha himself on a rocky hill six miles south of Mandore. The hill, a hundred and twenty meters high, was known as Bhakurcheeria, the Mountain of Birds, or Cheeriatunk, the Bird's Beak. Its lone human occupant at the time was an old hermit called Cheeria Nathji, the Lord of the Birds (Even today the fort is home to thousands of birds, particularly the Cheel or Kite, the sacred bird of the Rathores.).

Auspicious though the day, it was not a smooth beginning for Jodha because the disturbed hermit left his cave cursing the invaders of his solitary world. His curse,” Jodha! May your citadel ever suffer a scarcity of water!” is impossible to forget even today. A terrible curse anywhere, in Marwar heralding doom itself. Undeterred Jodha continued with his construction but he did take some measures to appease the gods. Besides building a house for Cheeria Nathji in his new city he also constructed a temple in the fort very near the cave the hermit used for meditation. The cave and temple together with a pond in front form an enchanting spot today. And over five hundred years later fresh flowers are still placed every morning in the temple to placate the irate hermit.

Jodha then took the extreme step to ensure the new site proved propitious; he buried a man alive in the foundations. The man was Rajiya Bambi (Meghwal) and he was promised that in return his family would forever more be looked after by the Rathores. It was a promise that has been honored and Rajiya's descendants continue to enjoy a special relationship with the Maharaja. A proud family they still live in Raj Bagh, Rajiya's Garden, the estate bequeathed by Jodha.

Rajiya's fate is an established fact of history but there are sources, albeit less reliable, which record three other human sacrifices in the foundations of Jodha's fort; Four in all, one for each corner if these sources are to be believed. Of the three one is held to be Rajiya's son and the other a Brahmin named Mehran, both improbable choices. It seems unlikely that Jodha would pick two men from the same family and a Hidu king sacrificing a Brahmin or priest does not ring quite true.

The controversy remains alive because these sources claim that Jodha named his new fort after Mehran. Today the fort of Rajasthan is indeed called Mehrangarh, Mehran's Fort, and it has been for some time, but the origin of this name remains a mystery. Did Mehran really exist and was he offered to the gods? For the present these are secrets trapped in the depths of Bhakurcheeria. On the other hand the answer may, in fact, be quite simple; Mehr is a Rajasthani word for the Sun and it is not at all unlikely that the Rathores, who claim descent from the Sun, would name their first citadel in His honor.

Whatever Jodha named his fort, a citadel on which he spent all of rupees nine hundred thousand, it was very different from what the present Maharaja of Jodhpur of Rajasthan, Gaj Singh II, inherited four hundred and ninety three years later. To begin with, it was much, much smaller; the extremities of the original fortress fall within the second gate today. As the Rathores grew more powerful Mehrangarh, at once a symbol of their glory and the basis of their strength, expanded. Every ruler left his mark and therein lays Mehrangarh's beauty, for it is today a magnificent blend of different reigns and ages, styles and influences, compulsions and dreams. 

MEHRANGARH FORT AT JODHPUR IN RAJASTHAN

As a historian Mehrangarh Fort of Rajasthan is superior in other respects too than just the tales of valor and sacrifice. Unbiased, delighting in wickedness, relishing scandal, sharing secrets...Did not the prince Jaswant Singh (1873-1895) throw his mistress out of this very window because she was really his father's and the latter had just entered the room? Was it not from these ramparts that Maharaja Maan Singh (1803-1843) had his Prime Minister dashed to the ground four hundred feet below? Is this not the foul chamber where Maharaja Ajit Singh (1678-1724) was murdered by his son? Was it not from this balcony that Rao Ganga (1515-1532), reveling in an opium heightened cool breeze, fell to his death? Or was he pushed by his son, the great Maldev (1532-1562)?

Tourist Attractions of Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India

The palaces in the fort of Rajasthan were constructed by Rao Jodha Singh from 1459 onwards in an informal pattern over several centuries and have its own architectural features, such as narrow staircases leading to the royal residence, carved panels and porches, elaborately adorned walls and brilliant stained glass windows that create vibrant mosaics on the floors with the play of light. Its walls, which are up to 36m high and 21m wide, protect some of the most beautiful and historic palaces in Rajasthan. Within the fort, several brillantly crafted and decorated palaces are found. Of these, Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) of Rajasthan, Phool Mahal (Flower Palace) of Rajasthan, Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) of Rajasthan, Sileh Khana of Rajasthan, and Daulat Khana of Rajasthan are notable. The various buildings inside the fort now serve as Mehrangarh museum of Rajasthan now which hosts a well preserved collection of musical instruments, palanquins, furniture and cannons on the fort's ramparts. The ramparts of the fort provide not only excellently preserved canons (including the famous Kilkila) but also a breath-taking view of the city. Tourist Attractions in Mehrangarh Fort of Rajasthan are mentioned below.

The Main Poles or Gateways of the Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur in Rajasthan

The towering battlements of Mehrangarh Fort of Rajasthan, a hundred and twenty feet high and stern walls, in places six meters thick, testify to the strength of Rao Maldev (1532-1562) in whose reign the Rathores reached the zenith of their power. The palaces of Rajasthan, extravagant and exquisite edifices of peace and prosperity, whisper a thousand secrets; of machiavellian intrigues, dazzling riches and decadent pleasures under the imperial Mughal umbrella (1582-1739). It would have presented a forbidding sight to any invading army with its maze of imposing towers at frequent intervals. Jai Pol, the main entrance to the fort of Rajasthan was built in 1808 celebrating the great victory of Raja Man Singh over his great rival Jagat Singh of Jaipur of Rajasthan. Also the doors of Jai Pol are embellished won by Raja Abhay Singh from Ahmedabad. The western gate of the fort is called the Fateh Pol (victory gate) of Rajasthan which was built to commemorate an important event in Jodhpur’s history- the reclaiming of the fort from the Mughals by Ajit Singh in 1707. The Lakhna Pol, also called the Dedh Kangra Pol was added on in the 19th century, constitutes an important historical landmark in Jodhpur of Rajasthan. It was built during Rao Maldeo’s reign in the 16th century, but it bore the brunt of the attack launched by the Jaipur army of Rajasthan in 1807. It still bears the dents from the cannonballs launched at it by the aggressors. To the left of the Lakhna Pol is the Amrit Pol, also built by Raja Maldeo, on passing which you come to the original entrance of the fort which was built in 1459.

The then entrance consisted of a boulder, which had two holes in which were inserted wooden logs to provide a provisional barrier. Beyond the Lakhna Pol is the Loha Pol (Iron Gate) dating back to the 15th century, although the façade that you see today was again the contribution of Rao Maldeo in the 16th century. The handprints of 15 royal satis, Jodhpur queens who burnt themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands, are a chilling reminder to the barbaric custom, which was very much in vogue in Rajasthan. It was the considered an honour by the women themselves to sacrifice their lives for their menfolk. So much so, that when Maharaja Ajit Singh died in 1731, no fewer than six of his wives and fifty-eight of his concubines burnt themselves on his funeral pyre and although sati was made illegal by the British governor general William Bentick in 1829, the last recorded case of sati occurred in Jodhpur of Rajasthan as recently as 1953. Just next to it is the Suraj Pol or Sun Gate, one of the oldest gates in the complex. This gate is one of the oldest in the Mehrangarh fort of Rajasthan, and on entering it you will come across a flight of stairs which takes you to the Moti Mahal of Rajasthan, one of the loveliest palaces in the complex.

Sheesh Mahal – Hall of Mirrors at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur in Rajasthan

Mehrangarh's Sheesh Mahal of Rajasthan, despite its relatively late date is a fine example of a typical Rajput Sheesh Mahal of Rajasthan, very different from the Mughal, though no doubt originally inspired by that immensely popular Mughal fashion. The mirror-work includes large, regular pieces, rather than an intricate mosaic of tiny fragments; another difference is the superimposition over the mirror-work of brightly painted religious figures made in plaster. Mughal Sheesh Mahals were more often than not chambers of decadent pleasure; Mehrangarh's was more likely a private temple.

Phool Mahal – House of Flowers at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur in Rajasthan

The Phool Mahal or Flower Palace of Rajasthan which is right adjacent to the Moti Mahal of Rajasthan is a more recent building, constructed by Abhay Singh (reigned between 1730-50) for which the gold came from Ahmedabad in Gujarat as war booty after his famous victory over the rebellious Mughal governor, Sarbuland Khan and was further decorated between 1873 and 1895 with paintings, royal portraits and the ever popular raga mala, came much later, in the reign of Jaswant Singh II.. The best part about the palace is the wall paintings, which on close inspection reveal a distinct European influence. Hardly surprising because these decorations were carried out during Maharaj Pratap Singh’s reign, who was very much an Anglophile. The grandest of Mehrangarh's period rooms the Phool Mahal of Rajasthan was in all likely hood a private and exclusive chamber of pleasure; dancing girls once swooned in exhaustion here under a ceiling rich in gold filigree and it depicts the many classical ragas (a pattern of notes of melody and rhythm) of Indian music on its walls.

Takhat Vilas at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur in Rajasthan

The Takhat Vilas of Rajasthan is located above the Sardar Vilas and was added to the fort by Maharaja Takhat Singh who ruled between the years 1843 and 1873. Lived in by Maharaja Takhat Singh (1843-1873), Jodhpur's last ruler to reside in the Mehrangarh Fort of Rajasthan, Takhat Vilas is an interesting blend of styles, most traditional, but some, like the glass balls on the ceiling, testifying to the modern age which arrived with the British. The entire palace is laced with pictures painted on wet plaster on the walls and on the wooden beams of the ceiling, scenes from the religious Krishna Leela to the folk Dhola Maru to the favorite Rathore sport of pig-sticking, are in good condition. The large cloth Punkah or fan is of considerable interest as is the floor painted like a carpet.

MEHRANGARH FORT AT JODHPUR IN RAJASTHAN

Moti Mahal – Pearl Palace at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur in Rajasthan

Moti Mahal of Rajasthan is the largest of the Mehrangarh Museum's period rooms. The Moti Mahal of Rajasthan or the Pearl Palace of Rajasthan was built during Maharaja Sur Singh’s reign in the last two decades of the 16th century. Moti Mahal of Rajasthan was used as an exclusive Durbar Hall, a hall of private audience accessible, by definition, only to those very close to the ruler. Moti Mahal of Rajasthan was where the kings used to sit on their throne and meet all the subjects. The size of the hall indicates that it must initially have been utilized as a Public Audience Hall. Sur Singh's Moti Mahal of Rajasthan has five alcoves leading onto hidden balconies; it is believed they were built for his five queens to listen in on court proceeding. With a wooden ceiling rich in gold leaf and mirror, and colored glass window and door panes the Moti Mahal of Rajasthan lives up to its grand Mughal name even without the pearls. The alabaster throne which lies resplendent and one end of the room are magnificent to behold and the entire palace has a very ostentatious look to it with the ceiling covered with mirrors and gilt. It is has been very well maintained and the walls and ceilings are still sparklingly smooth. Its latticed screens and superb balconies are in many ways similar to the Anup Mahal in Bikaner of Rajasthan, and both of these palaces by way of coincidence were built in the 1670s. The Moti Mahal is where every Jodhpur ruler since the founder Rao Jodha has been crowned. The red sandstone coronation seat or Sangar Choki is spectacular and so is the white marble facing which was added on by Bakhat Singh in the 1750s. The palace houses the royal palanquins, and silver howdahs (special seat for riding on elephants), one of which was gifted by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to Jaswant Singh. Other howdahs are resplendent with the flags of the nine Rathore states of medieval times, eight of them offshoots of Jodhpur itself.

Khabka Mahal – Sleeping Palace at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur in Rajasthan

Situated right above is the Khabka Mahal, which literally means sleeping palace. It has two main rooms; the Dipak Mahal of Rajasthan built by the then Prime minister of Jodhpur and Chandan Mahal of Rajasthan, which was the council room of the ruler, where he discussed the affairs of state with his ministers and held meetings with visiting dignatories. A picture by itinerant painter A.H. Muller depicts the great hero of Jodhpur in the 17th century Durga Das, carrying off the infant Ajit Singh, (who was to be the future ruler of Jodhpur to safety) to protect him from being slaughtered by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Jhanki Mahal – Palace of Glimpses at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur, Rajasthan

The Palace of Glimpses of Rajasthan, as this palace is commonly known, is next door to Khabka Mahal of Rajasthan. It is called so because it was from where the women of the royal household to take a look at the outside world. Purdah was strictly enforced by the Rajputs in medieval times and the women’s quarters were deliberately fitted with latticed screens to allow the royal women to peek outside without being observed themselves. Like the Moti Vilas (mentioned below) of Rajasthan, the sandstone jalis (latticed windows) were so fine as to look like lace from a distance. The Jhanki Mahal of Rajasthan is virtually covered with mirrors where no doubt the royal ladies attended to themselves. Other interesting aspect of the palace is the numerous royal cradles you will find here, all of them exquisitely embellished. One of the cradles is actually motor-powered and was presented to the Maharaja of Jodhpur in 1948.

Moti Vilas & Sardar Vilas at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur in Rajasthan

The next two palaces you come across are the Moti Vilas of Rajasthan and the Sardar Vilas of Rajasthan. The unique feature of the Moti Vilas of Rajasthan is its beautifully carved latticed screens. The detailing is so fine that from a distance you could be forgiven if you mistook the jalis (latticed screens) to be built out of lace. Neighbouring the Moti Vilas of Rajasthan is a zenana court, built in 1640 and comprising of beautifully chiselled stonework. The Sardar Vilas located nearby is chiefly characterised by its exquisite woodwork. The doors and the panelling in the interiors of Sardar Vilas are marvellous to behold. Much of the woodwork is gold-plated and embellished with ivory. It also houses a splendid marble table, which was presented to it by the king of Kabul.

Umaid Vilas at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur in Rajasthan

Next door to Sardar Vilas of Rajasthan is the Umaid Vilas of Rajasthan, which has a gallery of miniature paintings mostly belonging to the Jodhpur school of Rajasthan. Earlier, the Jodhpur school of Rajasthan was strongly influenced by Jain art, but later with Jodhpur of Rajasthan establishing close ties with Delhi the Mughal influence began to dominate. The magnum opus of Umaid Vilas of Rajasthan is a painting of Maharaja Pratap Singh painted by a Jodhpur artist called Amar Das. You will also find a portrait of Maharawal Jaswant Singh of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan here. There are plenty of pictures of Rajas playing Holi (Hindu festival of colour) with their consorts, splashing colour on each other

MEHRANGARH FORT AT JODHPUR IN RAJASTHAN

Daulat Khana – Treasures at the Mehrangarh Fort Museum

Mehrangarh museum of Rajasthan has unique importance as a repository of the artistic and cultural history of the large area of the central Rajasthan, Marwar-Jodhpur ruled by the Rathore dynasty. Right beneath the Phool Mahal of Rajasthan is the Daulat Khanaa of Rajasthan, place of great historical interest. This gallery displays one of the most important and best preserved collections of fine and applied arts of the Mughal period of Indian history, during which the Rathore rulers of Jodhpur in Rajasthan maintained close links with the Mughal emperors. The curios present here include heavy locks, liquor bottles wrapped in wet cloths to which the warriors drank to fortify themselves before an imminent battle, coin boxes, carpet weights, vanity boxes of the royal women and intricately decorated hookahs (long pipe for smoking tobacco). But what really stands out in the Daulat Khana is silk tent made of red and gold brocade which was made for the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, but captured from his son Aurangzeb by the Raja Jaswant Singh in the latter half of the 17th century.

Sileh Khana - Armoury at the Mehrangarh Fort Museum of Rajasthan

Another place worth seeing while you are visiting the fort of Rajasthan is the Sileh Khana or the armoury. This Gallery displays a rare collection of Armour from every period in Jodhpur of Rajasthan. Rajputs being a warrior tribe loved their weapons and they took great care of them. The Sileh Khana of Rajasthan is bursting at the seams with all kinds of antique guns, maces, shields and ornamented swords.  On display are sword hilts in jade, silver, rhine horn, ivory, shields studded with rubies, emeralds and pearls, guns with gold and silver work on barrels. The gallery also has on display personal swords of many an emperor, among them are outstanding historical piece like the Khanda of Rao Jodha, weighing over 7 pounds, the sword of Akbar the Great and the swords used by Tamerlane, the ancestor of the Mughals who sacked Delhi in 1398.

Elephant Howdas at the Mehrangarh Fort Museum of Rajasthan

Elephants have a long history in the employ of man. from the first millennium B.C until the 19th century, they have played a significant role in warfare and ceremonies .Elephant have been referred as gaja, naga, dvipa, hastin, karenu, karin, datin, etc in the Indian epics. They were valued for their immense strength and intelligence, and their ability to be trained in human service, although they therefore had uses for moving heavy loads from forest timber to artillery pieces, one of the most important roles was as fighting animals they could trample men and horses alike, pick up and throw a man and horse together.

The howdahs were a kind of two-compartment wooden seat (mostly covered with gold and silver embossed sheets), which was fastened on to the elephant back. The front compartment with more leg space and raised protective metal sheet was meant for kings or royalty and rear smaller ones for a reliable bodyguard disguised flywhisk attendant. This gallery displays fine examples of elephant seat from the museum collection, which is regarded as the best in the country.

A priceless and unique historical piece is the silver howdah of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, as a mark of special honor presented this howdah to Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur of Rajasthan with an elephant along with 100 horses, on 18th December 1657. Besides this, there are other howdahs of considerable historic importance and cultural significance

Palanquins at the Mehrangarh Fort Museum of Rajasthan

Palanquins were a popular means of travel and circumambabulate for the ladies of the nobility upto the second quarter of the 20th century. They were also used by male nobility and royals on special occasions.

Palanquins have been referred in Davnagri as palki and palyank in Sanskrit. Smaller palakis were called the dolis or dola, mostly covered, thus, ment for ladies. In the strict Rajput parada( veil) system palakis with cover were used to carry ladies. Attractive covers of these palakis have metal screens to peep out side.

The palakis carrying royal ladies were accompanied by either her relatives or elderly Rajput men. At destination point or deori or darikhana (waiting room), iabadta(
Pronouncement) was called for and thereafter bandobast (necessary arrangements) according to royal etiquettes was announced then only the rider emerged from the palanquin.

Palanquin bearers mostly hailed from the eastern part of India, such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orrisa. A palanquin was carried by four or more men each having a special stick to support them and for a firm grip as well. In Marwar these palanquin bearers were called Mehers.

This gallery displays one of the richest collections of palanquins in Rajasthan. On display are palanquins for ladies as well as men; the covered palanquins were used for the ladies and open for men. Pinjas, the covered palanquin is an exquisite piece of craftsmanship; it is beautifully decorated with lacquer paintwork. Rajat khasa, the beautiful lotus shaped royal silver palanquin used by the maharajas is indeed awe inspiring and a fine piece of art.

Paintings at the Mehrangarh Fort Museum of Rajasthan

Painting gallery:  This Gallery displays colours of Marwar-Jodhpur of Rajasthan, the finest example of Marwar paintings. The court painting in Jodhpur started to develop during the 17th century through the association of Marwar rulers with Mughal Emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, but during the 18th & 19th centuries it evolved into a distinctive Rajasthani style, combining Mughal naturalism with local folk styles and bold colors. Mughal trained artists, most notably the highly accompunished Dal Chand, came to Jodhpur during the early eighteen century, bringing with them the cool precision of Mughal painting under the emperor Farrukhsiyar, and this contributed to the high standard of much of the work done for maharaja Abhai Singhji (1724-49) and his successors.

Jodhpur paintings of Rajasthan later took an even more exuberant turn under maharaja Man Singh (1804-43), and dozens of paintings of the ruler, his nobles and his ladies were made. Most of these are densely packed scenes of festivity or processions, but Man Singhji was a devoutly religious man, and he also commissioned many paintings of his gurus and himself at worship, religious text such as the Ramayana, the Durga Charitra and the Shiva Rahasya, as well as more obscure texts dealing with Nath philosophies. These imposing paintings often show great imagination in dealing with such large surfaces, often using unexpected changes of scale, division of the page into smaller section, or showing successive stages of a story on one page.

Painting in most Rajput kingdoms suffered a severe decline in the late nineteenth century with the advent of photography and the increasing political and cultural influence of the British. Just as they were later to become enthusiastic of the newest motor cars, many rulers took to recording festivals and weddings and the visits of neighboring princes on film rather than on paper. After a brief flirtation with the painted photograph, painting virtually died out at the courts.

Cradle Section at the Mehrangarh Fort Museum of Rajasthan

The Jhanki Mahal of Rajasthan, from where the royal ladies watched the official proceedings, in the courtyard, today houses a rich collection of the royal cradles. The cradles are decorated with gilt mirrors and figures of fairies, elephant and birds.

Turbans at the Mehrangarh Fort Museum of Rajasthan

The turban has long been an integral part of the costumes of Rajasthan but is, inevitably, under pressure from modern life and style and is slowly going out of fashion. The Turban Gallery in the Mehrangarh Museum of Rajasthan seeks to preserve, document and display the many, many different types of turbans once prevalent in Rajasthan; every community, region and, indeed, festival has its own head-gear and this diversity, the colors of the desert, is wonderfully brought out in this welcome addition to the museum.

Folk Musical Instrument Gallery at the Mehrangarh Fort Museum

Folk music is part and parcel of life in Rajasthan, bringing melody and rhythm to an otherwise arid region. There are a number of different types and kinds of folk musical instruments, some particular to a group or community, and some to a region. In order to preserve the lesser known and less popular instruments from extinction the Mehrangarh Museum Trust embarked upon a project to identify and collect them. This led to the Folk Musical Instrument Gallery in the museum, the first step to a comprehensive ethnological section. The display of the instruments here is accompanied by a recorded rendition; a lively and interesting experience for the visitor.

MEHRANGARH FORT AT JODHPUR IN RAJASTHAN

Temples of the Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur in Rajasthan

Nagnechiji Temple

To the extreme right of the fort complex is located the Nagnechiji temple of Rajasthan, the family temple of the Rathore dynasty. The Nagnechiji idol was brought to Marwar in the early 14th century by Rao Dhuhad, and after Meherangarh was constructed the idol was placed there.

Chamunda Devi Temple

Adjacent to it is a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, called the Chamunda Devi Temple. The idol of Durga was brought by Rao Jodha (the founder of Jodhpur) himself, but it was destroyed in a gunpowder explosion in 1857. It was reconstructed by Takhat Singh who reigned between the years 1843 and 1873. The precincts of the fort house two tanks as well, which was the main source of water to the residents of the complex. The Gulab Sagar or Rose-Water Sea is the larger of the two and situated to the south of the complex. The other tank is called the Rani Talao or Queen’s Lake which, as the name suggests reserved for the ladies of the zenana (royal ladies).

Jaswant Thada Cenotaph at the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur in Rajasthan

As you peer over the high castle walls, you notice the Jaswant Thada Cenotaph. It was built in 1899, with all the rulers before him being cremated at Mandore, the previous capital of Marwar. Jaswant Singh who ruled Jodhpur from 1873-95, is worshipped in the city almost like a god and was credited during his lifetime as someone who possessed remarkable healing powers. His cenotaph is built like a temple and was worshipped like one by the public, and the stones with which it was constructed came from a quarry located at Markana, a village on the outskirts of Jaipur of Rajasthan. The marble walls of the cenotaph are extremely thin, at some points only about six inches thick. Needless to add all the wives and concubines of Jaswant commited sati on his funeral pyre and their memorials are found alongside him.

Location and Transport

Umaid Bhawan Palace of Rajasthan is located at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India which lies near the geographic center of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists.

Air
Jodhpur of Rajasthan is well connected to all the major cities which include Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Jaipur of Rajasthan, and Udaipur of Rajasthan.
 
Bus
Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe & air conditioned buses from Delhi (Bikaner House, Nr. India Gate) to Jodhpur of Rajasthan. The roads are very good, and it takes around 8-9 hrs from Jodhpur of Rajasthan. You can also come by taxi. The bus stand is right outside the Rai ka Bagh Station.

Train
Jodhpur of Rajasthan is on the Broad Gauge and hence connected to all the metro cities of India. There are daily trains from Jaipur of Rajasthan, Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata. Jodhpur of Rajasthan has two railway stations; City and Rai ka Bagh both are outside the walled city.

Getting around Jodhpur of Rajasthan

In the city you can travel by un-metered auto-rickshaws, buses, cycle-rickshaws or you can also use car cabs and car-taxi. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation operates of Jodhpur of Rajasthan from 8.30 to 1.00 pm and 2 to 6 pm. The tour starts from the Tourist Bungalow.

Distance of important cities from Jodhpur of Rajasthan

Jaipur of Rajasthan : 343 Km
Jaisalmer of Rajasthan : 295 kms
Mount Abu of Rajasthan : 264 kms
Udaipur of Rajasthan : 275 kms
Ajmer of Rajasthan : 205kms
Agra of Uttar Pradesh : 577 kms.
Bikaner of Rajasthan : 245kms
Delhi  : 602 kms



 
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